Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS4592614 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 06/636,951
Publication dateJun 3, 1986
Filing dateAug 2, 1984
Priority dateSep 7, 1982
Fee statusLapsed
Publication number06636951, 636951, US 4592614 A, US 4592614A, US-A-4592614, US4592614 A, US4592614A
InventorsEarl C. Myers, Jr.
Original AssigneeAmp Incorporated
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gender change connector
US 4592614 A
An assembly (10) for effecting interconnection of like gender connectors (78, 80) on the ends of existing cables (82, 84) or between a cable and an equipment panel is formed by a pair of connectors (12, 14) of the same gender terminating opposite ends of a short length of multi conductor cable (16). The connectors (12, 14) are fixed in a back-to-back condition with the cable (16) and the gap between the connector enclosed in cover members (70, 72). The thus formed assembly can be used to mate cables and equipment having connectors of like gender which must be mated.
Previous page
Next page
I claim:
1. An electrical connector assembly for electrically interconnecting connectors of like gender, said assembly comprising:
a pair of identical electrical connectors each of the type comprising an elongate housing having a mating face, an opposed rear surface, a mounting flange having opposed ends with a hole therethrough at each opposed end, and a plurality of terminals mounted therein, each terminal having an insulation displacing conductor engaging portion extending from said rear surface,
each connector further comprising a cable cover latched against the rear surface of the housing, each said cover having a plurality of passages therein which receive respective conductor engaging portions of said terminals,
a short length of multiconductor ribbon cable terminated at each end thereof to one of said pair of connectors, each conductor in said cable being terminated at opposite ends to respective terminals, said cable being retained therewith by said cable covers,
hardware engaging said holes in said flanges to secure said pair of connectors substantially together in back-to-back relationship with said cable covers adjacent to each other and said mating faces opposed to each other, each hole being aligned with a respective hole of the other connector of the pair, said hardware comprising a pair of cylinders received between flanges at opposite ends of said back-to-back connectors, each cylinder having a tapped hole at each end thereof which is aligned with a respective hole in one of said flanges, said hardware further comprising bolt means received in said tapped holes through said flanges to secure said connectors in back-to-back condition.
2. A connector assembly as in claim 1 further comprising outer cover means enclosing portions of said pair of connectors between said flanges.
3. A connector assembly as in claim 2 wherein said outer cover means comprises a pair of identical outer cover members, each member having a pair of opposed end flanges, each end flange overlapping an end flange of the other cover member and being latched thereto.
4. A connector assembly as in claim 3 wherein each said cover member has a pair of opposed lateral flanges, each flange of each cover member overlapping a flange of the housing along an elongate side thereof.

This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 415,285, filed 9/7/82, now abandoned.

The present invention relates to a connector which permits mating of like gender connectors, such as two male connectors terminating cable assemblies, or two female connectors one of which terminates a cable assembly and the other is panel mounted.

There are many instances when cabling of main and peripherial equipment creates a situation where connectors of like gender are already provided and must be mated. This could be accomplished by reworking the mating end of one cable to install a connector of the opposite gender. However, this is not always convenient to do since the interconnection of the main equipment with the peripherial equipment is generally accomplished somewhere in the field where there is not always access to equipment for changing connectors on the end of a cable. Not only are there problems associated with having extra connectors of the proper type and gender, as well as terminating tools, but loss of cable length caused by changing connectors could be a significant problem.

It is known in the telephone industry to have connectors which allow multiple terminations of a single cable at a single location. Examples of this may be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,963,300 which shows a multiple tap and 4,032,211 which shows what is known as a half tap which allows two connectors to be mated to a single cable. However, both of these termination systems have the same type of connector at the free end of the cable. Further, examples may be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,876,276 and 4,236,779 which are half tap configurations.

The present invention is a gender change connector formed by a pair of like connectors terminating opposite ends of a short length of flat cable, assembled in a back-to-back configuration, and enclosed by a housing. The connectors of the subject gender change connector are either plug or receptacle connectors and preferably employ an insulation piercing technique for terminating the cable. The cable can be either multi-conductor flat flexible cable or multi-conductor ribbon cable.

The present invention will be described by way of non-limiting example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a gender change connector according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the assembled connector according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the subject invention as it would be used to interconnect a pair of cables having like connectors at the ends thereof; and

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the hermaphroditic covers to be used with the present invention.

The illustrated gender change connector has been shown utilizing a pair of receptacle connectors to intermate a pair of pin connectors. However, it is to be understood that the invention also encompasses the use of a pair of pin connectors in the same configuration to intermate a pair of receptacle connectors.

The subject gender change connector assembly 10 includes a pair of receptacle connectors 12, 14 terminating opposite ends of a short length of multi-conductor flat or ribbon cable 16 and secured substantially together in a back-to-back condition by hardware 18 and enclosed by hermaphroditic outer covers 20.

The connectors 12, 14 are like connectors each having an elongate housing 22, 24 of rigid insulative material with a plurality of terminal passages 26 extending between a mating face 28 and a rear surface 30, and a flange 29 having a hole 31 therethrough at each opposed end. A like plurality of terminals 32 are mounted in the respective passages 26 with each terminal 32 having a mating portion (not shown) directed toward or extending from the mating face 28 and an insulation displacing, conductor engaging portion 34 extending from the rear surface 30. Each housing 22, 24 is further provided with cover latching means 36, 38. Each connector 12, 14 further has a cable cover 40, 42 each with latching means 44, 46, a cable receiving slot 48, and a plurality of terminal receiving passages 50.

The hardware 18 includes spacing cylinders 52, 54 having a tapped hole 53 at each end to receive bolts 56, 58, 60, 62, respectively.

The outer covers 20 are hermaphroditic and each includes a profiled side cover portion 64 having depending longitudinal flanges 66, 68 and depending opposite end flanges 70, 72. Each end flange 70 includes an outwardly directed latching lug 74 while each end flange 72 includes a latching slot or recess 76 located to receive a respective lug 74 therein.

The subject gender change connector is formed by terminating, in known fashion, a short length of cable 16 at opposite ends thereof with the respective connectors 12, 14. The connectors 12, 14 are then brought into a back-to-back position and secured by the hardware 18 through the conventional mounting flanges of the connectors. The thus formed assembly of cable 16 and connectors 12, 14 is then enclosed by the covers 20 with flanges 66, 68 gripping the respective elongated sides of the connectors 12, 14 and the cover portions 64 and end flanges 70, 72 covering the cable 16 and gap between connectors 12, 14. The assembly 10 is inserted into a system, such as shown in FIG. 3, with the connectors 78, 80 being either mounted on the ends of cables 82, 84, respectively, (as shown) which are to be joined or on the end of a cable and a panel of an equipment housing (not shown). To effect mating, the correct gender change assembly 10 according to the present invention is simply inserted between the two like existing connectors and the mating effected.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3705378 *Mar 24, 1971Dec 5, 1972Bunker RamoCover for feed-through connector
US3876276 *Oct 17, 1973Apr 8, 1975Bunker RamoMulti-contact connector cover assembly
US3963300 *Oct 11, 1974Jun 15, 1976Amp IncorporatedMulti-conductor tap-connector
US4032211 *Nov 1, 1976Jun 28, 1977Amp IncorporatedMulti-conductor half-tap connection
US4083615 *Jan 27, 1977Apr 11, 1978Amp IncorporatedConnector for terminating a flat multi-wire cable
US4143935 *Mar 13, 1978Mar 13, 1979International Telephone And Telegraph Corp.Electrical connector
US4147399 *Feb 1, 1978Apr 3, 1979Amp IncorporatedFlat cable connector assembly
US4215326 *Jan 16, 1978Jul 29, 1980Amp IncorporatedFiltered adapter
US4236779 *May 1, 1978Dec 2, 1980Bunker Ramo CorporationEMI Shielded cable and connector assembly
US4257028 *Jun 27, 1979Mar 17, 1981Thomas & Betts CorporationRemote socket for DIP components
US4290664 *Sep 28, 1979Sep 22, 1981Communications Systems, Inc.Multiple outlet telephone line adapter
US4354719 *Sep 22, 1980Oct 19, 1982Amp IncorporatedTwo-row electrical connector composed of connector modules
US4392701 *Nov 9, 1981Jul 12, 1983Amp IncorporatedTap connector assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4781625 *Dec 29, 1987Nov 1, 1988Ming Fortune Industry Co., Ltd.Transferring device for electrical connectors
US5092791 *Jan 22, 1991Mar 3, 1992L-Com, Inc.Bulkhead feedthrough adaptor for IEEEE-488 cables
US5123859 *Aug 22, 1991Jun 23, 1992Amp IncorporatedBack-to-back stackable connector for interface bus, and cable clamping system usable therewith
US5573409 *Nov 17, 1991Nov 12, 1996Itt CorporationInterconnector
US5934929 *Oct 10, 1997Aug 10, 1999Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.Electrical connection box
US6168456May 10, 1999Jan 2, 2001Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.Electrical connection box
US6439916 *Dec 10, 2001Aug 27, 2002Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd.Electrical adapter
US7070445 *May 15, 2003Jul 4, 2006Cinch Connectors, Inc.Cable assembly
US7121850 *Nov 5, 2004Oct 17, 2006Ming-Hsiang YehDual-purpose male/female connector
US7578704 *Oct 27, 2008Aug 25, 2009Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd.Electrical adapter having grounding means
US9350129 *Apr 13, 2013May 24, 2016H & B Electronic Gmbh & Co. KgElectronic/electrical connecting arrangement
US20040229497 *May 15, 2003Nov 18, 2004Cinch Connectors, Inc.Cable assembly
US20060099840 *Nov 5, 2004May 11, 2006Ming-Hsiang YehDual-purpose male/female connector
US20070116414 *Nov 18, 2005May 24, 2007Applied Optical Systems, IncVersatile system for configurable hybrid fiber-optic/electrical connectors
US20090111328 *Oct 27, 2008Apr 30, 2009Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd.Electrical adapter having grounding means
US20150303631 *Apr 13, 2013Oct 22, 2015H & B Electronic GmbH & Co., KGElectronic/electrical connecting arrangement
WO2013178309A1 *Apr 13, 2013Dec 5, 2013H & B Electronic Gmbh & Co. KgElectronic/electrical connecting arrangement
U.S. Classification439/404, 439/654, 439/906, 439/494
International ClassificationH01R4/24, H01R31/06, H01R4/02, H01R13/506
Cooperative ClassificationY10S439/906, H01R31/06, H01R4/242, H01R4/02, H01R23/66, H01R13/506
European ClassificationH01R31/06
Legal Events
Nov 29, 1989FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Nov 8, 1993FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Feb 14, 1998REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
May 31, 1998LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Aug 11, 1998FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 19980603